The next USC head coach may currently be pacing the sidelines among the NFL’s elite, as Kansas City offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy, is reportedly a candidate for the highly-coveted Trojan job. Bieniemy, 52, has been a regular on the NFL offseason interview circuit for most of his seven seasons with the Chiefs, but he has yet to land a top spot somewhere.
League sources believe Chiefs' OC Eric Bieniemy will emerge as a head-coaching candidate for USC. Bieniemy is from Southern California and has told confidantes in the past, that USC is one of the only college jobs that might interest him.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 14, 2021
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, USC is one of the only college jobs of interest to Bieniemy. Last year, Bieniemy was among the candidates who interviewed for the main job at his alma mater, Colorado, but he ultimately decided to withdraw his name from consideration.
A second-team high school All-American in California, Bieniemy is long thought to be holding out for an NFL head coaching job, though he does have previous experience at the college level. In the early 2000s, he coached running backs at UCLA, USC’s cross-town rival, and was an assistant at Colorado.
Though Chiefs head coach Andy Reid handles Kansas City’s play-calling, Bieniemy is closely involved with the team’s game plan. He has played a major role in the development of an explosive offense that features Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
In fact, the Kansas City offense has been so dominant under Reid and Bieniemy that some speculate the team’s success has hurt Bieniemy’s chances to land a head coaching job. Since Kansas City has played in back-to-back Super Bowls and won one of them, Bieniemy hasn’t been available for teams to interview since the NFL does not allow teams to hire a coach who’s still coaching elsewhere in the postseason. In essence, the Chiefs have been too good for Bieniemy to head elsewhere.
The USC job became available Sunday evening after the Trojans shocked the college football world by firing Clay Helton just two games into the season. It remains to be seen whether Bieniemy decides to fill that opening.